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Building your own log home: is DIY for you?

When it comes to creating a log or timber frame home with Confederation, we want you to know: you’ve got options. Whether you’re a contractor with years of homebuilding experience or turn-key is more your style, you’ll find your niche with us.

If a do-it-yourself (DIY) build piques your interest, but you’re not sure where you register on the construction continuum, we can help with that, too—just keep reading!

2 Big Reasons to DIY

It’s no secret that building your own home earns you bragging rights. There is a sense of gratification that comes from creating something with your own two hands. (And, when what you’re creating is a Confederation log or timber frame home, you can bet the sense of pride is off the charts!) Plus, when you are in charge of every detail of construction, you can rest assured that the project has been in good hands.

Besides the promise of accomplishment and quality, the most common reason our customers choose the DIY option are the attached cost-savings. Erecting the shell yourself (with some trusty helpers, of course) and finishing out the interior will keep some serious cash in your pocket. 

Is DIY right for you?

The benefits of a DIY build are easy to see—a great sense of satisfaction and a lower price tag—but what may not be as obvious is if the DIY option is the right choice for you. The process of deciding to DIY or leave the building to the pros should start with an honest assessment of your construction background.

  • What you’ll need: basic construction knowledge. Understanding building basics, like interior framing and roofing systems, will go a long way towards making your construction experience enjoyable and worthwhile.
  • What you don’t need: specific construction knowledge of log or timber frame homes. We’ve been doing this log and timber thing for nearly four decades, so if you’ve got the building basics under your belt, we’ll teach you all you need to know about putting together your log or timber frame home.

Before taking on a DIY build, you’ll also want to assess your comfort level with issues like estimating material and labor costs, if you’ll be subcontracting out any work; creating and sticking to a construction schedule and building to meet local codes.

Besides having a firm grasp on construction basics, having certain personal strengths can help keep your project running smoothly (and your sanity intact) during the DIY process. A strong sense of organization, flexibility and patience are all perfect home-building bedfellows. And, for those projects where things don’t go 100 percent according to plan (hint: that’s practically every project!), a sense of humour helps, too.

If it sounds like there is a lot to consider before building your log or timber frame home yourself, we’ve got a plan to help.

Welcome to your one-on-one training day

If you take the leap to DIY, we need to make one thing clear: you may be heading up the project but you’re not doing it alone. If you’ve got the capacity, knowledge and gumption to tackle this yourself, our promise is to help you every step of the way. That’s why we offer each of our clients unmatched support, beginning with a one-on-one training session.

During your session, we’ll go over the construction manual with you page by page. You’ll learn everything you need to know about constructing a log or timber frame home—beginning with how the subfloor is fastened to the foundation. Because our training sessions are one-on-one, we can gear the training to your individual skill level and provide the attention you need to feel comfortable with building your dream home. Plus, you’ll visit our manufacturing facility where we mill the logs and get the inside scoop on the tips and tricks we use to make sure you get the best finished product possible.

Kicking off your build – the site visit

Getting you up to speed through a special training day is only the start of our involvement in the building process. During the initial stages of construction, we will send someone from our team to your home building site to make sure you’re on the right track. FYI: that “someone” is usually the owner of our company, Rick Kinsman. (Yes, you read that right!) Rick has been here since day one, and no one has more industry experience—or passion for making sure his people (that’s you!) are happy. That’s why we call it the Total Package.

Attention all pro-builders

Incidentally, this attention and training is exactly what we provide for professional builders interested in constructing their first log home for a client. If you’re a builder looking to expand your repertoire (or a home buyer wanting to use a trusted local builder) we offer the exact same training as a traditional DIY’er as well as a personal site visit from us once construction begins.

And as an added bonus, after your first successful build is complete, we’ll be happy to recommend you in your local market.

DIY, beginner-style

If you’d like to invest some sweat equity into your new home but aren’t ready to take on a full build, there are plenty of smaller tasks that will earn you a sense of pride and keep some extra cash in your pockets. We’ll explore other cost-saving options in our post in May.

Whatever projects you choose to take on (or not), remember there is no right or “better” way for your log or timber frame home to come together, and whatever you choose, we’re behind you 100 percent.

Think you may be ready to take on building your dream home … literally? Get a sneak peek into our owner’s training manual.